Thursday, December 12, 2013

On editing

Editing is more than just pointing out and correcting glaring grammatical errors or making sure subjects and verbs agree or that infinitives aren't split. What most fail to realize is that editing involves ensuring sentences are constructed in a way that does not slow the reader down or impede on the joy of reading.

Take a sentence. It may be grammatically sound but an ardently placed comma (often with good intentions from the writer) could ruin the flow of an otherwise heartfelt statement. It takes a truly generous writer and a talented editor to give the reader the gift of free reign through flow, coherence and construction. Some sentences are decision-makers and take the fun out of reading. As a reader, you would want to decide for yourself as to how you would like to take to what you're reading. It's never a good idea to relegate your readers to the role of passive observers.

I wouldn't like that. Would you?

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And because I understand that writers get proprietary about their work (I do). 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The monster in your head

Seems like words up and left sometime in the wee hours when I was dreaming of weaving them into a poem I guess I will never get around to writing anymore. The writer in me is waning. And I've enough strength to even slap together bones of a piece I've been working on in my mind.

Words, words, words elusive.

Floating in my mind, flitting out of reach every time the urge to pluck them off arises. A pity but I don't dare wish for sadness or tragedy to fuel my art lest the Universe grants my fucked-up wish. Prevention is always better than cure or the more apt but hardly ever effective, damage control.

On a positive note:
We try.

Measuring yourself 
on a metaphysical scale
and finding yourself

that there never were
monsters under your bed
in your head, all this time, in your head.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I am glad we are in love again.

Halfway through this week's batch of laundry and I am assaulted by the faint smell of longing --- plaids combined with the musky smell of Bulgari you favor. Yes, I long for you greatly these days, more so than I have ever longed for you in the time that we have been together.

Somewhere I read that your truths are revealed to you at times of great distress. What has been revealed to me is this: I would gladly fall into your abyss and anchor my heart onto your raging sea, be slammed against the rocks repeatedly at every turn of the tide than drift aimlessly into a world without sight, touch, and smell of you.

Perhaps this molding of my heart into the small of your palm is the desire to remain worthy of your affections despite the incessant fall of rain on this path we have carved for ourselves. Hearts somewhere find comfort in the rain, however mine remains hopeful at the prospect of (successfully) braving the eroding waters.

Here's a prayer sent to the high heavens and whispered to whoever wants to listen: Allow the rain to beat down on us mercilessly to carve for smarter roads, stronger hearts and deeper underground recesses, where we turn to for strength when life decides it isn't done with us yet.

So in this season of water we blossom.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Literary tattoos and then some

Early birthday gift from V.
An impulse I don't mind repeating.

Cacoethes Scribendi

If all the trees in all the woods were men
And each and every blade of grass a pen
If every leaf on every shrub and tree
Turned to a sheet of foolscap; every sea
Were changed to ink, and all earth's living tribes
Had nothing else to do but act as scribes
And for ten thousand ages, day and night
The human race should write, and write, and write
Till all the pens and paper were used up
And the huge inkstand was an empty cup
Still would the scribblers clustered round its brink
Call for more pens, more paper, and more ink.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oh my good man.

Friday, August 30, 2013


Hayaan ang buhos ng mga salita mula sa pluma
Ipinta ang daloy ng bawat letra hangga't matakpan
ang kalumaan ng kwadernong muntik nang makalimutan

Asul para sa pag-asa
Puti para sa pag-ibig
Dilaw para sa kaligayahan
Pula sa pakikibaka

Punuin ang bawat pahina.
Ibaon sa tula at pintura.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Dugo't buwis-pawis
naghalong pagod at panalangin
isa, dalawa, tatlo
Diyos lang ang makapagsabi kung magkano.

Tama bang agrabyado
na naman tayong mga Pilipino?
Halos silaban ang sariling paa
sa pagtatrabaho, para ano?

Para kanino?
Sino nga ba ang hari ng mga Pilipino?
Tayo, mismo, dapat tayo
hindi ang mga baboy ng gobyerno.

Walang dayuha't baboy ang gagapi.
Tayo ang huling may sabi:
Tayo ang hari,
wala na sa'ting aapi.

Friday, August 23, 2013

In memoriam

offers no peace
for the living.

Sentiments profusely offered
well-meaning to soften the blow
fall on deaf ears 
plugged with the question ---

Have we done 
everything we can?

A hand plunged into an empty room,
save for careworn books
and a bottle of calming oil,
fails to answer ---

What is the average amount
of time needed to accept 
the loss of someone
dearly loved?

All the unnecessary steps
we take to convince ourselves
enough is enough
flitter uselessly in the sea of people
bearing one face ---

that of who we lost.

Because I see her everywhere.

Thursday, August 1, 2013



Photographs of almost faded memories
the seeking, the chance meetings
of returnings and leavings
desperate almost glimpses

A symphony
Silhouettes of broken soliloquies.

29 March 2012

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Vanishing acts

Saying goodbye.
Letting go.

Things I am actually not very good at despite the cool fabric of detachment I drape around my body everyday.

The moment we found out about Lola Kit's illness, we were worried of course, but more than anything, optimistic. My Grandmother was one of the most resilient people I know and for as long as I have known her, the strongest. Surely she'd overcome a measly little illness. Surely she'd persevere and have nothing to show for save for a few more laugh lines, loving additions to her already beautifully lined face.

But End Stage Renal Failure is a killer.
The most cunning of all thieves.
And it took Lola Kit away from us.

From me.

I haven't really said goodbye. I couldn't bear doing so, seeing her frail, ill and still fighting. My heart ached for her and for a time before her death, I could actually feel a heaviness inside from the weight of it. I still do.

So I don't think I will, not anytime soon. Perhaps someday my Grandmother's passing and her memory will heal inside me. Gradually, I will come to believe that she found the assurance of God's presence when she left. I will someday, through faith, through choice.

Can't say I'm looking forward to it. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad she was freed of her suffering. She fought the good fight but it hurts to know the finality of her absence.

There will be no more talks of the supernatural until the wee hours of the morning.
There will be no more cutting across the dry Barok river bed to get to San Miguel and eventually Roxas proper where an afternoon will be spent foraging in her favorite ukay-ukay stop.
There will be no more spontaneous Holy Week visits to Barok. Or surprise visits to Iloilo.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I miss you a lot, Lola Kit.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Just this once

It's hard not to feel persecuted by fate. It seems that every time her turn came up, something happens to snatch it away.

Proverbial chip on the shoulder. And she's not entirely a bad person. Or so she thinks. And why is she talking in the third person?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Pants on fire

Find yourself caught in the morning unfolding,
a witness to the south's leaden panorama
-- derricks, clouds, traffic -- slowly sweeping into view.
Find yourself sharing a smoke with a single disappointing friend
at a time caught in what a tangled web we weave.
Find yourself extending gifts in the form of the benefit of the doubt,
convinced of the innate goodness of people
and all the paltry things we use to paint over
the often inexcusable human desire to lie,
how you want this one to be true
despite all the warning bells,
sirens singing the same song.

Find yourself finding out for certain
how There's nothing going on is really, truly, undeniably something.

Find yourself swearing to keep a safe distance
when you can barely prevent invisible strings
tugging you this way and that, here and there.
Find yourself starting to lose faith,
wanting, no, praying, that shit won't hit the fan if it hasn't already,
knowing how everything has a price and has a way of unraveling, revealing.

Find yourself finally settling for refusals,
vehement as though everything were set in stone,
plugging your ears with music that says
Don't tell me I told you so and Good luck, good luck, good luck.

Interesting conversation.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Fuel to the fire

Iced Caramel Latte for Tata!

Thank you.

The dearly consumed designer coffee procured at a price much more extravagant for her absence of income borders between categories of folly versus fancy versus But I need something to make me feel better and What won't you give to feel better over the lack of writing? As if saying such a thing would bring the mojo back, would make her actually want to sit down and write.

Perhaps she shouldn't be so worried about the writing and seemingly lack of desire to create, i.e., unfinished painting in the dining area arranged so that she could pick up where she left of. Perhaps because it means she is much happier elsewhere yet finds herself pining for sadness to fuel her art.

And asks the question ---

What to do should you find the universe conspiring to grant your fucked-up wish?

Semi-shitty past couple of months in the writing world (mine, that is.) 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hey, Jealousy!

The heart lives in the deadliest of houses --- its feelings.
An organ of fancy, it believes too much and forgets too little.

In a city south of the metro, a writer wields her pen in a flurry of gossamer wings.
She looks for words to hide behind, as though scrambling for clothes.
But she fails to find the right ones. So she buys a ticket to dreamland ---
"What keeps us alive within these walls of blood and bone is the promise of sleep. Ergo, the momentary forgetting of words than wound."
 --- and promptly misses the flight.

Resigned, she picks up her pen
and disappears into the grain and grind
against words elusive.

After fighting off the urge
to hurl her phone at the face
of her slumbering lover.

Gin Blossoms.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Currencies of feeling

The moon seemed to be in their favor that night. And the wind, delighted at the thought, carried cherry blossoms to sprinkle the uneven pavement as she made her way to where she stood, hands raised to mark her spot as if she would miss her. Dewy skin, comfortable shoes, jeans and a shirt available only in a shop situated halfway around the world --- she stood there waiting for her and she knew that the moment she took a step forward, her world would crumble.

Oh, please. Don't say anything.

And she didn't. Exempt from sound. Instead, when she was quite near, she reached for her cheek and as she closed her eyes to savor the contact, she heard a voice: 

"You do not have enough balance to continue this dream. Please reload immediately to avoid disconnection."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


The words we refused to utter.
The questions left unanswered.
The laughter unheard.
The smiles unseen.
The kiss that ignited.
The touch that set aflame.
We carry them in boxes
small and quaint,
beautifully decorated
to conceal, to mislead
the darkness they contain.
What of these, you ask.
Nothing, I whisper.
And that is how things are with us.

Reposting from Hushed Hysterics, my other writing repository. Online carbon imprint has increased exponentially. Oh my.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A tiny break

Into my breathing latching
as I catch a glimpse of you
and with you
what could have been what
we would have been
had we not
walked away.

Nothing sort of masturbatory. What I doodled after hearing Imago's haunting lyrics:

“Permiso sa isang araw na makasama ka. Abiso ng pusong bulag na humahanga. Tama bang aminin na nating may taning tong pag-ibig natin, dakila man walang kasaysayang kakapit sa bulag na pag-ibig.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Since you know what you're doing (and don't you dare second-guess yourself because when it comes to you, you are quite right and no one knows you better than you do), yours is not a question of what they think and making a passable life out of what you have working for you.

It's a question of setting your own standards and soaring way above them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fuck. It. All.

Everybody wants to be a writer, or claims to be one.
Hell, you can get your syntax straight or regurgitate grammatically sound prose but very few people can bleed magic on the page.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mag-iisang taon...

Ilang segundo, minuto
ang kinailangan mo
upang ibaon ng tuluyan
ang sakit na dulot ng kahapon?

Isang hakbang palayo ---
dagdag sa lumalaking agwat
sa inyong pagitan
para sa ikabubuti ng lahat, ka'mo.

Ngunit nagniningning,
naglalakbay sa iyong mukha
ang mga patak ng pangungulila
na patuloy mong iniluluha.

Ako ang saksi.
Kasama ang nangangalawang
na poste ng kuryente
at ang basang mukha ng kalsada

Sige, sabi ko.
Hindi ko man alam ang dahilan
alay ko ang palad ng pagkakaibigan.
Inom ka pa, eto, ako na bahala sa deposito.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I do this, too

Launching social experiment: Style by Stilettista

Love, love dressing up so naturally. None of those pseudo-poetic literary shiz I engineer in this blog. Just another outlet. Prose is more rambling and natural. Succinctly, what I do when I'm not writing poems.

Yes. I have a lot of time in my hands. Har dee har har.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Reading rampage

Been on a reading rampage the past several weeks. Just finished ---

I am the Messenger (Zusak)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Kundera)
Divergent (Roth)
Insurgent (Roth)
The Perks of being a Wallflower (Chbosky)
The Power of Six

Currently reading Screwtape Proposes a Toast and other pieces by C.S. Lewis. Many a silent chuckle I have let loose during shuttle rides to and fro work. My old, ratty copy seems shiny and new, and the bookworm in me is enormously glad I packed it along with several favorites coming here from Iloilo some seven years ago.

Birthday's coming up and while I'm looking forward to V's advanced birthday gift (Baguio, baby!), I wouldn't mind receiving some if not most of what's listed here. Oh, shameless, I know!

The Constant Heart (Nova)
The Man Without a Country (Vonnegut)
Breathing the Water (Levertov)
No One Belongs Here More Than You (July)
Daughters of the North/The Carhullan Army (Hall)
Gone Girl (Flynn)
The Edible Woman (Atwood)

I've a thing for the smell of books. Almost a turn-on, yeah. Also, love highlighting some of my favorite passages. Thus, a real, live book is a must. Hear! Hear!

Ending note/life lately:

Will jump into the unknown in a month's time. Wondering what awaits me. Hell, not sure of anything except this one thing --- it's been real but I'd like my life back, thank you.

Fingers crossed and knocking on all pieces of wood I can, this is going to be the best birthday gift I'm going to give myself.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Forgiven not forgotten

We have always
sought the December wind.

Perhaps because it reminds us
of warmth despite the cold

the radiance of
hearts so light

the temporary rising
of pristine flags

surrendering to the moment,
joyous and unrestrained

hostilties forgotten,
all's forgiven for the time being.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Comings and goings

Going, going, gone. Yep, that'll be me. And I can't wait.

Long time coming. Enough false loyalty. Enough with the hope that staying will amount to something. Just enough. Stop. Give way to something new. Allow the passing to usher the emergence. Of what --- is to be decided. And deciding to look at the indecision in a positive light. Being anything within the confines of my adulthood. And deciding what a happy confinement it shall be.

For now, we suck it up.

Happy New Year, folks.
Decide what you will become.
Plunge head on and make no regrets.
More importantly, dare to live free.

And if my face is any indication of how stressed I am where the big change is concerned, it's high time to pack me bags, lassie.